Europa League round of 32 roundup

The first leg of the Europa League round of 32 took place on Thursday. Here is how it played out and what to look for in the second legs.

The first leg of the round of 32 wrapped up for the Europa League on Thursday, with a lot of goals, several comebacks, and a shocking result. With major clubs such as Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, and Napoli failing to advance out of the Champions League group stage, the Europa League this year is loaded with talented teams. Despite the size and money disparity between some of the clubs in the round of 32, the majority of second legs will determine which teams advance to the round of 16.

Here is a roundup of all 16 games Europa League. The second legs will be played next Thursday.

Red Star Belgrade vs. CSKA Moscow 0-0

The lone game that was not played on Thursday was the only game that ended in a scoreless draw. The two teams will meet in Moscow on Wednesday, with the winner advancing.

Astana vs. Sporting 1-3

Kazakhstan side Astana scored an early goal in the seventh minute and held the lead at halftime. However, Sporting came out strong in the second half, scoring three goals in the first 11 minutes after halftime. Any chance of Astana mounting a comeback ended in the 62nd minute when Yuri Logvinenko picked up his second yellow card. The second leg goes next Thursday in Lisbon, with Sporting holding a two-goal lead and three valuable away goals.

Borussia Dortmund vs. Atalanta 3-2

Borussia Dortmund opened the scoring in the first half when Michy Batshuayi tracked back and stole the ball and set up Andre Schurrle. Atalanta came out of halftime with a strong attack, with Josip Ilicic netting two goals in the opening 11 minutes of the second half. Batshuayi was able to tie the game in the 65th minute. For the final 15 minutes, Atalanta sat back happy with taking a 2-2 tie back to Italy. However, a terrible clearance landed at the feet of Mario Gotze who immediately found Batshuayi in the box for the game-winner in the 91st minute. The two teams head to Bergamo for the second leg in what could be the best second leg. Despite losing, Atalanta’s two away goals could help them advance if they can win the second leg.

Nice vs. Lokomotiv Moscow 2-3

Mario Balotelli scored twice in the opening half hour to give Nice an early lead. However, Manuel Fernandes scored from the spot right before halftime to give his side a chance. In the second half, Fernandes took over, scoring in the 69th and 77th minute to give Moscow the win. The teams go to Moscow next week, where Nice will have to overcome the three away goals and win in Moscow.

Spartak Moscow vs. Athletic Bilbao 1-3

The third Moscow side in the knockout stage got into an early hole Aritz Aduriz scored twice in the first half and an own-goal before halftime sealed the fate for Spartak. Luiz Adriano scored a second-half goal to narrow the gap. However, Spartak are in serious trouble going back to Spain for the second half.

Real Sociedad vs. Red Bull Salzburg 2-2

Real Sociedad found themselves in an early hole after an own-goal by Mikel Oyarzbal in the opening 30 minutes. Álvaro Odriozola scored in the first 15 minutes of the second half and Adnan Januzaj scored a go-ahead goal in the 80th minute. However, Sociedad could not hold onto the win. In the 94th minute, Takumi Minamino scored the equalizer. The second goal not only tied the game but gave Salzburg a second away goal that could be the difference when the two teams play in Austria next week.

Marseille vs. Braga 3-0

Marseille opened the scoring in the fourth minute when Valère Germain found the back of the net. In the 69th minute, Germain scored again and five minutes later, Florian Thauvin sealed the win for the French side. The two teams head to Portugal, where Braga will have to match Marseille’s three goals. However, if the French side gets off to another fast start, an early away goal would likely seal their place in the round of 16.

Ludogorets Razgrad vs. AC Milan 0-3

After going scoreless for most of the first half, AC Milan finally broke through in the 45th minute when Patrick Cutrone scored. Ricardo Rodriguez scored from the spot in the 64th minute and Fabio Borini scored in injury time to give Milan the away win. Ludogorets will need a miracle to go to San Siro Stadium and beat Milan by four goals.

Östersund vs. Arsenal 0-3

In the final early game on Thursday, Arsenal made easy work of their Swedish opponent. Nacho Monreal scored in the 13th and the Gunners never looked back. Östersund scored an own-goal and second-half goal from Mesut Ozil seal the away win for Arsenal. Like Ludogorets, Östersund will need a miracle. Östersund need to go into London and win by four goals to advance.

Copenhagen vs. Atletico Madrid 1-4

Atletico Madrid entered the Europa League round of 32 as one of the favorites to win the tournament. Despite allowing Viktor Fischer to score a goal in the 15th minute for the hosts, the Spanish side bounced back six minutes later when Saúl scored. Kevin Gameiro gave Atletico the lead before halftime and they added to their lead in the second half. Antoine Griezmann and Vitolo scored within six minutes of each other to seal the win. After allowing four away goals, Copenhagen have virtually no chance of advancing, baring a miracle in Madrid.

AEK Athens vs. Dynamo Kyiv 1-1

Viktor Tsyhankov scored in the 19th minute to give the visitors the lead. However, Kyiv could not hold onto the lead. Astrit Ajdarević scored in the 80th minute to salvage a draw for Athens. The two teams are evenly matched heading back to Ukraine.

Celtic vs. Zenit Saint Petersburg 1-0

After a scoreless first half, Callum McGregor scored in the 78th to give Celtic the home win. The two teams head back to Europe with their hopes of advance still alive.

Napoli vs. RB Leipzig 1-3

In perhaps the most anticipated game of the round of 32, Napoli hosted RB Leipzig. Both teams finished third in their Champions League group to enter the Europa League and were immediately upset when they drew each other. Napoli entered the game, one point ahead of Juventus in the race of the Serie A title, while Leipzig are second in the Bundesliga. Despite the quality of the teams, the stadium in Naples was only half full as many fans did not show up fearing that Napoli would not field a full squad and rest players as they look to end Juventus’ run of six straight Serie A titles.

After a scoreless half, with both teams missing their chances to score, Napoli opened the scoring seven minutes into the second half. After missing a few first-half chances, Timo Werner found the equalizer nine minutes later. Bruma gave Leipzig the lead in the 74th minute but the goal came with a lot of protesting from Napoli’s defense argued that Bruma was offside. However, replays showed the Bruma was just onside. In the 93rd minute, Werner added his second of the game to give Leipzig a commanding lead heading back to Germany for the second leg. With Leipzig holding such a big lead, Napoli may decide rest their stars in the second leg.

Lyon vs. Villarreal 3-1

Neither team could break through in the first half in France. Lyon opened the second with two goals in the first five minutes. While Villarreal was able to pull one back in the 63rd minute, Memphis Depay sealed the win in the 82nd minute. Despite losing and being down two goals on aggregate, Villarreal is very much alive when the two teams meet in Spain next week.

Partizan vs. Viktoria Plzeň 1-1

Serbian side Partizan struck first in the 58th minute when Léandre Tawamba scored. Czech side Viktoria Plzen scored the all-important equalizer and away goal in the 81st minute when Radim Řezník found the back of the net. The away goal could be the difference in the second leg. However, both teams are still alive when they meet the next week in the Czech Republic.

Steaua București vs. Lazio 1-0

The final game on Thursday produced the most shocking result. Romanian side Steaua București shocked Lazio, who are fifth in Serie A this season. While Lazio did not start all of their regulars, they did bring key players such as Ciro Immobile on as a second-half sub. While Steaua București hold the lead going into Rome for the second leg, it would be shocking for them to advance. If Lazio fail to advance, the scene inside of the Olympic Stadium will not be pretty.